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Provisions As To Accused Persons Of Unsound Mind

Code of Criminal Procedure Act, 1973 : Unsound Mind

CHAPTER XXV – PROVISIONS AS TO ACCUSED PERSONS OF UNSOUND MIND.

328. Procedure in case of accused being lunatic.

328. Procedure in case of accused being lunatic. – (1) When a Magistrate holding an inquiry has reason to believe that the person against whom the inquiry is being held is of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence, the Magistrate shall inquire into the fact of such unsoundness of mind, and shall cause such person to be examined by the civil surgeon of the district or such other medical officer as the State Government may direct, and thereupon shall examine such surgeon or other officer as a witness, and shall reduce the examination to writing.

(2) Pending such examination and inquiry, the Magistrate may deal with such person in accordance with the provisions of section 330.

(3) If such Magistrate is of opinion that the person referred to in sub-section (1) is of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence, he shall record a finding to that effect and shall postpone further proceedings in the case.


  1. K.D. Ninan v. State of Karala, 2006(1) R.C.R.(Criminal) 257

329. Procedure in case of person of unsound mind tried before Court.

329. Procedure in case of person of unsound mind tried before Court. – (1) If at the trial of any person before a Magistrate or Court of Session, it appears to the Magistrate or Court that such person is of unsound mind and consequently incapable of making his defence, the Magistrate or Court shall, in the first instance, try the fact of such unsoundness and incapacity, and if the Magistrate or Court, after considering such medical and other evidence as may be produced before him or it, is satisfied of the fact, he or it shall record a finding to that effect and shall postpone further proceedings in the case.

(2) The trial of the fact of the unsoundness of mind and incapacity of the accused shall be deemed to be part of his trial before the Magistrate or Court.


  1. Ravi Kumar v. State of Rajasthan, RLW 2008 (1) Raj 647
  2. Makhan Singh v. State of Punjab, 2006 (2) RCR (Criminal) 420
  3. Nandeswar Dass v. State of Assam, 2004 CriLJ 4723
  4. State of Karnataka v. Doragal Kanakappa, 1996 CriLJ 599
  5. Pujappa v. State of Karnataka, (1990) 3 Kant LJ (Supp) 213
  6. Gurjeet Singh v. State of Punjab, 1986 (2) RCR (Criminal) 458
  7. Dhani Ram v. State of Himachal Pradesh, 1982 CriLJ 1546

330. Release of lunatic pending investigation or trial.

330. Release of lunatic pending investigation or trial. – (1) Whenever a person is found, under section 328 or section 329, to be of unsound mind and incapable of making his defence, the Magistrate or Court, as the case may be, whether the case is one in which bail may be taken or not, may release him on sufficient security being given that he shall be properly taken care of and shall be prevented from doing injury to himself or to any other person, and for his appearance when required before the Magistrate or Court or such officer as the Magistrate or Court appoints in this behalf.

(2) If the case is one in which, in the opinion of the Magistrate or Court, bail should not be taken, or if sufficient security is not given, the Magistrate or Court, as the case may be, shall order the accused to be detained in safe custody in such place and manner as he or it may think fit, and shall report the action taken to the State Government :

Provided that no order for the detention of the accused in a lunatic asylum shall be made otherwise than in accordance with such rules as the State Government may have made under the Indian Lunacy Act, 1912 (4 of 1912).

331. Resumption of inquiry or trial.

331. Resumption of inquiry or trial. – (1) Whenever an inquiry or a trial is postponed under section 328 or section 329, the Magistrate or Court, as the case may be, may at any time after the person concerned has ceased to be of unsound mind, resume the inquiry or trial, and require the accused to appear or be brought before such Magistrate or Court.

(2) When the accused has been released under section 330, and the sureties for his appearance produce him to the officer whom the Magis- trate or Court appoints in this behalf, the certificate of such officer that the accused is capable of making his defence shall be receivable in evidence.


  1. Rintu Das v. State of Assam, 2007 (4) GLT 289
  2. Hamid @ Kaliya v. State of Rajasthan, RLW 2007 (2) Raj 1150

332. Procedure on accused appearing before Magistrate or Court.

332. Procedure on accused appearing before Magistrate or Court. – (1) If, when the accused appears or is again brought before the Magistrate or Court, as the case may be, the Magistrate or Court considers him capable of making his defence, the inquiry or trial shall proceed.

(2) If the Magistrate or Court considers the accused to be still in capable of making his defence, the Magistrate or Court shall act accordIng to the provisions of section 328 or section 329, as the case may be, and if the accused is, found to be of unsound mind and consequently incapable of, making his defence, shall deal with such accused in accordance with the provisions of section 330.


  1. State of Manipur v. Saikhom Ramo Singh, (2004) 1 GLR 246

333. When accused appears to have been of sound mind.

333. When accused appears to have been of sound mind. – When the accused appears to be of sound mind at the time of inquiry or trial, and the Magistrate is satisfied from the evidence given 962 before him that there is reason to believe that the accused committed an act, which, if he had been of sound mind, would have been an offence, and that he was, at the time when the act was committed, by reason of unsoundness of mind, incapable of knowing the nature of the act or that it was wrong or contrary to law, the Magistrate shall proceed with the case, and, if the accused ought to be tried by the Court of Session, commit him for trial before the Court of Session.

334. Judgement of acquittal on ground of unsoundness of mind.

334. Judgement of acquittal on ground of unsoundness of mind. – Whenever any person is acquitted upon the ground that, at the time at which he is alleged to have committed an offence, he was, by reason of unsoundness of mind, incapable of knowing the nature of the act alleged as constituting the offence, or that it was wrong or contrary to law, the finding shall state specifically whether he committed the act or not.


  1. State of Maharashtra v. Subhashsing, 1996 (1) BomCR 102

335. Person acquitted on such ground to be detained in safe custody.

335. Person acquitted on such ground to be detained in safe custody. – (1) Whenever the finding states that the accused person com- mitted the act alleged, the Magistrate or Court before whom or which the trial has been held, shall, if such act would, but for the incapacity found, have constituted an offence,-

(a) order such person to be detained in safe custody in such place and manner as the Magistrate or Court thinks fit; or

(b) order such person to be delivered to any relative or friend of such person.

(2) No order for the detention of the accused in a lunatic asylum shall be made under clause (a) of sub-section (1) otherwise than in accordance with such rules as the State Government may have made under the Indian Lunacy Act, 1912 (4 of 1912).

(3) No order for the delivery of the accused to a relative or friend shall be made under clause (b) of sub-section (1), except upon the application of such relative or friend and on his giving security to the satisfaction of the Magistrate or Court that the person delivered shall-

(a) be properly taken care of and prevented from doing injury to himself or to any other person;

(b) be produced for the inspection of such officer, and at such times and places, as the State Government may direct.

(4) The Magistrate or Court shall report to the State Government the action taken under sub-section (1).


  1. Motiram Maroti Dhule v. State of Maharashtra, 2002 (3) MhLj 882
  2. State of Maharashtra v. Subhashsing, 1996 (1) BomCR 102
  3. Digambar Manjhi v. State of Bihar, 1991 (1) BLJR 397

336. Power of State Government to empower officer in charge to discharge.

336. Power of State Government to empower officer in charge to discharge. – The State Government may empower the officer in charge of the jail in which a person is confined under the provisions of section 330. 963 or section 335 to discharge all or any of the functions of the Inspector-General of Prisons under section 337 or section 338.

337. Procedure where lunatic prisoner is reported capable of making his defence.

337. Procedure where lunatic prisoner is reported capable of making his defence. – If such person is detained under the provisions of sub-section (2) of section 330 and in the case of a person detained in a jail, the Inspector-General of Prisons, or, in the case of a person detained in a lunatic asylum, the visitors of such asylum or any two of them shall certify that, in his or their opinion, such person is capable of making his defence, he shall be taken before the Magistrate or Court, as the case may be, at such time as the Magistrate or Court appoints, and the Magistrate or Court shall deal with such person under the provisions of section 332 ; and the certificate of such Inspector-General or visitors as aforesaid shall be receivable as evidence.

338. Procedure where lunatic detained is declared fit to be released.

338. Procedure where lunatic detained is declared fit to be released. – (1) If such person is detained under the provisions of sub- section (2) of section 330, or section 335, and such Inspector-General or visitors shall certify that, in his or their judgment, he may be released without danger of his doing injury to himself or to any other person, the State Government may thereupon order him to be released, or to be detained in custody, or to be transferred to a public lunatic asylum if he has not been already sent to such an asylum; and, in case it orders him to be transferred to an asylum, may appoint a Commission, consisting of a judicial and two medical officers.

(2) Such Commission shall make a formal inquiry into the state of mind of such person, take such evidence as is necessary, and shall report to the State Government, which may order his release or detention as it thinks fit.

339. Delivery of lunatic to care of relative or friend.

339. Delivery of lunatic to care of relative or friend. – (1) Whenever any relative or friend of any person detained under the provisions of section 330 or section 335 desires that he shall be delivered to his care and custody, the State Government may, upon the application of such relative or friend and on his giving security to the satisfaction of such State Government, that the person delivered shall-

(a) be properly taken care of and prevented from doing injury to himself or to any other person;

(b) be produced for the inspection of such officer, and at such time and places, as the State Government may direct;

(c) in the case of a person detained under sub-section (2) of section 330, be produced when required before such Magistrate or Court, order such person to be delivered to such relative or friend.

(2) If the person so delivered is accused of any offence, the trial of which has been postponed by reason of his being of unsound mind and incapable of making his defence, and the inspecting officer referred to in clause (b) of sub-section (1), certifies at any time to the Magistrate or Court that such person is capable of making his defence, such Magistrate or Court shall call upon the relative or friend to whom such accused was delivered to produce him before the Magistrate or Court; and, upon such production the Magistrate or Court shall proceed in accordance with the provisions of section 332, and the certificate of the inspecting officer shall be receivable as evidence.

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